Inside Advocacy Microgrants

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Inside Advocacy: Supporting Trans Siblings Behind Bars

Trans Lifeline’s Inside Advocacy project provides financial aid and local resources to trans people currently incarcerated or recently released—from Commissary Microgrants for hygiene products, stamps, and food, to Post-Release Microgrants for rent and other re-entry needs.

Trans people, especially Black trans people, face disproportionate arrest rates and often endure mistreatment, diminished access to medications and gender-appropriate facilities, and physical and sexual trauma while incarcerated. We support prison abolition, and until these violent institutions are dismantled, we will continue working to uplift and empower those still inside by offering tangible support.

Until We’re All Free, our annual Holiday Commissary Campaign, partners with organizations fighting injustice, providing on-the-ground support, and advocating for our community on the inside.

Inside Advocacy is created and directed by trans people who the carceral state has directly impacted.

Commissary Microgrants

Provides commissary money for incarcerated trans people.

Inside Advocacy was initially born out of the need to support trans folks on the inside with material support in the form of commissary funds, which covers the cost of necessities such as hygiene products, stamps to send letters, phone calls, books, and increasing access to resources and support. Offering this support also reminds folks on the inside that people are thinking of them and that they aren’t forgotten. Our program coordinator maintains contact with folks on the inside via letter writing and phone calls.

Details:

  • $500 microgrant per person, per year
  • Family, friends, and advocates can apply on behalf of a trans person on the inside
  • Apply as needed, as long as funds allow
  • Alert will post each year when funds are no longer available

Eligibility:

  • Identify as transgender and/or nonbinary
  • Currently incarcerated in the U.S. (city or county jail, immigration detention, juvenile detention, state or federal prison)

How to apply:

  • Send a letter via postal mail requesting a Commissary Microgrant that includes your name, committed name, age, pronouns, inmate ID number, address, payment method, and instructions for deposit to:
    Trans Lifeline
    Inside Advocacy
    548 Market St PMB 15337
    San Francisco, CA 94104-5401
  • If you are applying on behalf of a loved one, contact Inside Advocacy.
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Post-Release Microgrants

Provides funds and resources for housing and basic re-entry needs.

We offer $1,500 per person microgrants directly to recently released folks to help them secure housing and meet other basic needs as they reintegrate into society. Along with the grant, we create a custom resource packet with info on advocacy, connecting them to services, providers, and community in the geographic area where they are being released.

Drawing of a bird flying out of an open cage

Details:

  • $1,500 Post-Release Microgrant
  • Family, friends, and advocates can apply on behalf of a trans person on the inside nearing a release date
  • Prior recipients are not eligible to reapply
  • Apply as needed, as long as funds allow
  • Alert will post when funds are no longer available

Eligibility:

  • Identify as transgender and/or nonbinary
  • Formerly incarcerated in the U.S. (city or county jail, immigration detention, juvenile detention, state or federal prison)
  • Must have been released within the past year

How to apply:

  • Send a letter via postal mail requesting a Post-Release Microgrant that includes your name, committed name, age, pronouns, inmate ID number, address, payment method, and instructions for deposit to:
    Trans Lifeline
    Inside Advocacy
    548 Market St PMB 15337
    San Francisco, CA 94104-5401
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Until We’re All Free Holiday Commissary Campaign

Provides commissary money for incarcerated trans people.

$287,602 has been given directly to our incarcerated trans siblings since 2017.

For five consecutive years, Microgrants has organized a grassroots fundraiser to raise money for our incarcerated trans siblings during the winter holiday season. All funds raised by the Until We’re All Free campaign are directly distributed on Christmas day by our partner organizations, who offer direct support on the ground to incarcerated trans folks in their communities.

Most corporations that operate prisons charge exorbitant fees to deposit money in prisoners’ commissary funds, literally profiting from the confinement of human beings. On Christmas day, many federal prisons waive the restitution and fees on commissary deposits, giving as much money as possible to folks inside rather than the prisons taking some of it.

As trans people, it is our duty and legacy to care for each other, as did the ones who came before us. Our care is so vast, exacting, and necessary that it transcends bars and cages. Join us in supporting our trans family inside and continue the fight for a world without prisons. We’ll keep working towards that world until we’re all free.

Donate to our 2023 Holiday Commissary Campaign today!

Note that there is no application for this microgrant; funds are distributed to incarcerated or detained folks by our partner organizations

Hand-drawn illustration of a destroyed cop car with flowers growing out of it. Barbed wire appears above and below the cop car.
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